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Event Info

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
Doors: 19:30
Age: 18+
Standard Buy now

Joywave are at an exciting point in their career. Not only have the act survived the pressures of their major-label debut and the dreaded sophomore slump, they’ve established themselves as the kind of band that you’re as likely to hear at a hip record store as you are at the grocery store. There is a difference between ubiquity and evolution and with their fifth full-length Permanent Pleasure, Joywave—vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Armbruster, guitarist Joseph Morinelli and drummer Paul Brenner—lean into guitar and string sections without sacrificing the signature sound that’s endeared the band to countless fans, whether they know it or not, over the past eleven years. Rochester, New York, isn’t necessarily known for its bustling entertainment industry, but it is rich in culture and creativity. The trio’s hometown is integral not only to the theme of Permanent Pleasure (audio samples from 1984 historical compilation release, The Rochester Sesquicentennial, bookend the album), but also to Joywave’s overall identity. Despite international acclaim and major-label success, the band maintain a DIY work ethic that keeps them grounded in the present moment while always reaching toward the future. We go to our studio and make a record with total creative freedom and we turn it in and the label tells us we did a great job,” Armbruster explains. This arrangement is a rarity in the music industry these days—but like all things Joywave, somehow it works out in a way that makes perfect sense for them. Once again produced by Armbruster at the band’s own Rochester-based studio, The Joycave, Permanent Pleasure is an unfiltered vision of the band’s creativity that sees them stepping outside of their sonic comfort zone. “I think this is probably our least keyboard [heavy] record,” Armbruster explains, adding that in some ways Permanent Pleasure was a reaction to the more cohesive and linear construction of 2022’s Cleanse. “On Permanent Pleasure we blew everything apart again: We’re switching out drum components and everything we can between songs and freeing ourselves again from the box of ‘it has to be super cohesive’ because I always want to rage against what we did last time. But five records in, we're a lot better at writing and recording, so it’s bringing back a little bit of the all-over vibe of the first record, but on the other side of the experience. We’ve gone through a wormhole.” That feeling of artistic liberation is the unifying sonic characteristic of the album, from the futuristic downtempo groove of “Sleepytime Fantasy” to the hypnotic dancefloor vibe of “Brain Damage.” Permanent Pleasure also sees the band expanding their own musical conventions, the most obvious being the fact that they enlisted an actual orchestra to play on these songs instead of relying solely on software as they have in the past. “We’ve always done virtual instruments before but we wanted to have it real this time around, so we had the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra play on five of these songs,” Morinelli, who wrote out the sheet music for them, explains. That amalgamation of electronic and organic instrumentation is evident on songs like “He’s Back,” which is political, personal, petrifying and playful, seemingly all at once. However as much as Joywave are pushing toward the future with this album, there’s also an element of nostalgia present in these songs as the trio look back at what they’ve built since they began playing together as on shimmering pop songs like “Swimming In The Glow.” “That song harkens back to an era of Joywave before we were in the beam and before anyone really cared what we did; it really draws lyrically on that time in my life of feeling like me, Paul and Joey had everything all together,” Armbruster explains. “Sonically, I think that song is a side of the band that I think people who have heard our 2012 EP Koda Vista know is there. It’s a side of the band that I think people who saw us in our very early days at local clubs like Bug Jar know is there, but I think it’s something that deserved to be in the spotlight.” “I want to touch you but I’m scared,” Armbruster sings on the infectious single “Scared,” an ode to codependency that’s as much about connection as it is existential dread—and ultimately that dichotomy between humor and hopelessness lies at the core of Permanent Pleasure. “I think the job of an artist is to explore any side of being a person and self-awareness is a huge part of being a person,” Armbruster summarizes. “I think artists who ignore humor aren’t being true to themselves and it’s a huge part of who we are despite having thoughts on the record that are on the darker side of things. I feel like you have to wink a little bit to make it okay. You have to make a joke about the asteroid as the asteroid is about to hit.”

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